Dianne began to prepare for the Olympics at age 4. In 1981, Bela Karolyi began coaching her.
Durham was the first top American gymnast to mentor Bela. She has participated in many international competitions in Japan, Belgium and China, among others. As a gymnastics coach, she also worked at a school in Chicago called Morgan Park Academy.
The junior elite championship was won by Durham in 1981. In 1982, she defended this title successfully. The USA Gymnastics National Championships were won by Durham in 1983, becoming the first African American to win this title.
In the McDonaldsInternational Competition later that year, Durham won silver. That year, Durham hurt her knee and was barred from participating at the world championships.
She was going to play in the Chunichi Cup later, where she won the Silver Medal. She left her coach, Bela Karolyi, in 1984 and withdrew from the US Olympic Team Competition in 1984.
Durham later became a gymnastics judge, coach, and motivational speaker.
According to NBC Chicago, after a “short illness” that was not revealed, and her husband also reported her death. His husband posted on Facebook, “This is Tom, Dianne’s husband posting. Please keep Dianne in your thoughts and prayers. Dianne is critically ill right now and the next few days are very important. The power of prayer can help Dianne. She always said that prayers can help. Let’s all help Dianne by praying for her.”
This is Tom, Dianne’s husband posting. Please keep Dianne in your thoughts and prayers. Dianne is critically ill right…